Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Flying, Sailing, and everything else!

Where to start.. As always, it's been pretty busy over here recently!  Over the last few weeks I've been trying to finish my Private Pilots Licence written examinations, and I'm pleased to be able to say, that as of today, I have passed 6 out of the 7 of them and I have only 1 more to go!

Whilst it is fantastic to be able to knock off these exams, I am really struggling to get time in the air due to a lack of sponsorship. So if you know any one who could help in this area then give me a shout!

I've been out on the water a fair bit recently as well. Jess, I and Will were competing in the Round the Island Race on the 25th June, but it didn't really go to plan!  We set off on a starboard tack across the line and on the first beat, a boat sailing on port tack decided to sail squarely into the side of us!

I'll explain the chain of events a bit clearer. Whilst we were on starboard tack, we had the right of way over the other yacht on port tack. We shouted 'Starboard' over the water a number of times and this was acknowledged by the other yacht who bore away. As we were getting closer to passing in front of them they came up to the wind far too early and their bow hit right into the side of our boat causing a small hole and possible structural damage.

After we had got untangled from the other boat and into a safer area, Will jumped downstairs to check on the extent of the damage and it was pretty clear that we were going to have to retire from the race immediately. We got the contact details from the other boat as we would have to lodge an official protest against the other competitor. The sails were pulled down and a pretty disappointed crew motored back into to cowes after only 10 minutes of racing. What was important of course, was that no one was hurt in the incident.  Later on the afternoon, the competitor who hit us did come up and apologise, and we are thankful for that. All the crew certainly learnt from this experience. It was also the first race that I have ever retired from.

Since the Round the Island Race, I've spent a week in North wales doing a bit of mountain climbing and fitness training alongside quite a lot of relaxing which was fantastic. It was lovely to be able to get some fresh air, and admire the scenery which does totally take your breath away!

This weekend I'm back on the water with Pete, sailing a Beneteau 40 called Carpe Diem. We're racing in the RORC race from Cowes to St Malo. The start is on Friday afternoon and it looks to be about a 24 hour race. I haven't sailed this boat before so I'm really excited about this race. Wish us well! We'll be posting updates on the 'Another Challenge' Facebook page so log onto that and follow us from there!